Tooth decay occurs in stages, and therefore, treating it depends on what stage it’s in when your dentist diagnoses it. For instance, in its mild to moderate stages, tooth decay can often be effectively treated with a custom, tooth-colored filling. In more severe cases, the decayed tooth structure and infected tissues must be removed with root canal treatment before your dentist can restore the tooth. However, in some extreme cases, even root canal treatment may not suffice, in which case your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth to stop the infection from spreading.
The Point of Root Canal Treatment
The point of tooth decay treatment, and root canal treatment in particular, is to remove the harmful oral bacteria that infects your tooth, as well as the tooth structure that has already been infected. This stops decay from spreading further, which can lead to increasingly worse dental health issues. After the infection is removed, your dentist can restore the healthy tooth structure that remains by filling the tooth and root canal with durable, biocompatible material.
In Extreme Cases
Because tooth decay goes through progressive stages, it will grow worse the longer it is left untreated. If you hesitate to get a filling, then you’ll eventually need root canal treatment. If you hesitate to get root canal treatment, then decay can destroy enough of your healthy tooth structure that your dentist will have to extract it to save the rest of your smile. After extracting a tooth, your dentist will suggest replacing it with a lifelike prosthesis, such as a dental implant and crown.
Find Out if Root Canal Treatment Can Save Your Tooth
If your tooth is afflicted with severe, internal decay, then root canal treatment may be able to save the tooth if it isn’t too late. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.